Online ordering trends of 2017

Posted on December 26th, 2017 by Breck Hapner

It hopefully comes as no surprise to you that online ordering for independent restaurants is on the rise. Yes, younger consumers are more likely to place their food orders through their mobile devices. Digital ordering is growing as much as 300 percent faster than dine-in traffic, and the mobile component of digital ordering is growing at an even faster rate, making up about 23 percent of all food orders.

It has been argued that the reasons or this growing trend is because it offers instant gratification — younger customers crave the convenience. It’s easy to go online, look at the menu and items you want, and not have to wait for anyone.

From the industry stand point it also improves order accuracy, price checking, and elimination of language barriers, and ensures that your staff stay on task preparing the food instead of taking distracting phone calls that may interrupt their work.

We’re going to take a look at some of the top trends in Online Ordering:

Loyalty & Reward Programs

Loyalty & reward integrations for restaurants have multiple benefits — it acts to increase the revenue per customer as well as increase the number of new customers, all allowing you to collect data on who is eating at your restaurant — it works because the customer knows it benefits them to come back, and it will also act as an incentive to bring in new customers. A few reputable vendors are Fishbowl, LevelUpPaytronix, and Punchh. In short, online orders help provide repeated customers, breeding stronger customer loyalty, through its inherent customer-first approach.

Proliferation Native Mobile Apps

Following in the mindset of mobile-first, native mobile applications are becoming the new norm. When restaurants offer customers access to this native app, it shows a more than 15 percent of orders come directly from that channel, which is a 7 percent increase over 2015. So mobile app development for restaurants is quite important. This nearly doubled increase in native app ordering will undoubtedly continue to exponentially grow this year. 

Using Social Media/Apps to Drive Sales

A big, but obvious one — it’s an easy and great way to promote your online ordering. Integrating things like contact information and favorite order, stored payment info allows customers a quicker, more accurate ordering experience. Another good platform for this is Yext.

Algorithms to Predict Orders

Another win for convenience. These algorithms are able to not only predict what menu items you may order, but also the time you might want to order them, based on previous orders made.

Say Goodbye to Call-Based Orders

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but its benefits can’t be understated, from both the consumer and business perspective. This makes takeout ordering more simple for both parties — reducing order errors due to various factors such as background noise or language barriers.

This essentially adds convenience and control to customers, something they increasingly desire, as well as efficiency to restaurants, where taking phone orders often interrupts work flow of food preparation.

Delivery

Delivery integrations for restaurants are also important. By increasing online ordering, many restaurants are seeing an increase in orders placed for delivery. So if you do not offer delivery services, this may be a smart way to expand your market. Some good services include delivery.com, EatStreet, GetSwift, and Postmates.

Integrating Online Ordering

If you need online ordering built from scratch or are interested in having your existing online ordering redesigned, the team at DineEngine can help you with web design, web development, and API integrations for restaurants. We will fully integrate your point of sale, online ordering, reward programs and any other customer touchpoint, seamlessly across all channels with our innovative integration platform. We are eager to hear about your design goals so we can create a responsive site that will give your customers an excellent online experience.